After John Howard followed up on the Kennett-led destruction of state awards, with his Corporations and Work Choices legislation, the floodgates were opened for mass import of cheap labour. Before that, it simply did not pay to import cheap labour to Australia, because it was too hard for employers to escape the enforcement of industry awards at State, and, to a lesser extent, Federal level. It was for this reason that Australia had, 'til then, escaped the widespread scourg
cheap imported labour
Attempts by a Queensland coal mining company to import foreign labour has been condemned by the Mining & Energy Union.Sojitz Blue has applied to import coal mineworkers from overseas whilst simultaneously offering current workers substandard work contracts and delaying negotiations for an enterprise agreement.The company operates the Gregory Crinum and Meteor Down South (MDS) coal mines near Emerald in Queensland and employs 350 workers.
Houses and Holes nails the "can't get people to work for us" lie.
(Article republished with permission from Macrobusiness
Via Yahoo comes the great Australian economy:
The former owner of two Subway franchises in Sydney has been penalised $65,000 after underpaying a former employee by $16,345.
The employee working at outlets at Artarmon and Stanmore was paid just $14-$14.50 an hour, between October 2014 and April 2016.
That’s well below the minimum rate of $18.
The Chinese national worker was also entitled to a casual loading payment and penalty rates of up to $52.22 on public holidays.
The Fair Work Ombudsman also found the worker hadn’t been granted a special clothing allowance, and the employers had failed to meet record-keeping and pay slip requirements.
Danmin Zhang, who formerly operated the outlets was penalised $9,255 by the Fair Work Ombudsman, with the company she owns with her husband, G & Z United, penalised an additional $56,183.
The Fair Work Ombudsman investigation came after the worker – who was pack-paid in 2017 – lodged a request for assistance.
The Fair Work Ombudsman also emphasised that Zhang is no longer involved with the two Subway restaurants.
“It is unlawful for employers to pay their employees low, flat rates that undercut minimum Award wage rates. This franchisee paid their worker a flat rate that was $4 below the lawful rate, and now faces paying a $65,000 penalty from the Court,” Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said today.
“The penalty should send a message to fast food businesses that compliance in the workplace is not an option – it’s the law. Every worker in Australia has the same workplace rights and we encourage anyone with concerns to contact the Fair Work Ombudsman.”
It comes just days after fashion startup, Her Fashion Box was fined $329,113 after underpaying staff by illegally classifying them as interns.
And a little more:
The casual worker, who was in Australia on a skilled visa, was paid unlawful flat rates of $14 to $14.50 an hour for 18 months.
There it is in all of its glory:
- migrants ripping off migrants;
- absurdly low level “skilled visa” for a sandwich maker;
- higher youth unemployment and wider underemployment,
- leading to broad wage compression.
This is the core of weak Australian wages. The nation has never run mass immigration into material economic slack before but that’s what we did after the GFC:
What does economics 101 tell us happens when a perpetual supply shock lands on weak demand? Prices fall. Mass immigration has destroyed Australian labour’s pricing power even as it rewrote industrial relations with floods of cheap foreign workers.
Academic research finally caught up to this reality late last year. Below are key excepts from Chapter 13 entitled Temporary migrant workers (TMWs), underpayment and predatory business models, written by Iain Campbell:
This chapter argues that the expansion of temporary labour migration is a significant development in Australia and that it has implications for wage stagnation…
Three main facts about their presence in Australia are relevant to the discussion of wage stagnation. First, there are large numbers of TMWs in Australia, currently around 1.2 million persons. Second, those numbers have increased strongly over the past 15 years. Third, when employed, many TMWs are subject to exploitation, including wage payments that fall below — sometimes well below — the minimum levels specified in employment regulation…
One link to slow wages growth, as highlighted by orthodox economics, stems from the simple fact of increased numbers, which add to labour supply and thereby help to moderate wages growth. This chapter argues, however, that the more salient point concerns the way many TMWs are mistreated within the workplace in industry sectors such as food services, horticulture, construction, personal services and cleaning. TMW underpayments, which appear both widespread in these sectors and systemic, offer insights into labour market dynamics that are also relevant to the general problem of slow wages growth…
Official stock data indicate that the visa programmes for international students, temporary skilled workers and working holiday makers have tripled in numbers since the late 1990s… In all, the total number of TMWs in Australia is around 1.2 million persons. If we include New Zealand citizens and permanent residents, who can enter Australia under a special subclass 444 visa, without time limits on their stay and with unrestricted work rights (though without access to most social security payments), then the total is close to 2 million persons… TMWs now make up around 6% of the total Australian workforce…
Decisions by the federal Coalition government under John Howard to introduce easier pathways to permanent residency for temporary visa holders, especially international students and temporary skilled workers, gave a major impetus to TMW visa programmes.
Most international students and temporary skilled workers, together with many working holiday makers, see themselves as involved in a project of ‘staggered’ or ‘multi-step’ migration, whereby they hope to leap from their present status into a more long-term visa status, ideally permanent residency. One result, as temporary migration expands while the permanent stream remains effectively capped, is a lengthening queue of onshore applicants for permanent residency…
Though standard accounts describe Australian immigration as oriented to skilled labour, this characterisation stands at odds with the abundant evidence on expanding temporary migration and the character of TMW jobs. It is true that many TMWs, like their counterparts in the permanent stream, are highly qualified and in this sense skilled. However, the fact that their work is primarily in lower-skilled jobs suggests that it is more accurate, as several scholars point out, to speak of a shift in Australia towards a de facto low-skilled migration programme…
A focus on raw numbers of TMWs may miss the main link to slow wages growth. It is the third point concerning underpayments and predatory business models that seems richest in implications. This point suggests, first and most obviously, added drag on wages growth in sectors where such underpayments and predatory business models have become embedded. If they become more widely practised, underpayments pull down average hourly wages. If a substantial number of firms in a specific labour market intensify strategies of labour cost minimisation by pushing wage rates below the legal floor, it can unleash a dynamic of competition around wage rates that foreshadows wage decline rather than wage growth for employees…
Increases in labour supply allow employers in sectors already oriented to flexible and low-wage employment, such as horticulture and food services, to sustain and extend strategies of labour cost minimisation… The arguments and evidence cited above suggest a spread of predatory business models within low-wage industries.37 They suggest an unfolding process of degradation in these labour markets…
And below are extracts from Chapter 14, entitled Is there a wages crisis facing skilled temporary migrants?, by Joanna Howe:
Scarcely a day goes by without another headline of wage theft involving temporary migrant workers…
In this chapter we explore a largely untold story in relation to temporary migrant workers… it exposes a very real wages crisis facing workers on the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa (formerly the 457 visa) in Australia. This crisis has been precipitated by the federal government’s decision to freeze the salary floor for temporary skilled migrant workers since 2013… the government has chosen to put downward pressure on real wages for temporary skilled migrants, thereby surreptitiously allowing the TSS visa to be used in lower-paid jobs…
In Australia, these workers are employed via the TSS visa and they must be paid no less than a salary floor. This salary floor is called the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT). TSMIT was introduced in 2009 in response to widespread concerns during the Howard Government years of migrant worker exploitation. This protection was considered important because an independent review found that many 457 visa workers were not receiving wages equivalent to those received by Australian workers…
In effect, TSMIT is intended to act as a proxy for the skill level of a particular occupation. It prevents unscrupulous employers misclassifying an occupation at a higher skill level in order to employ a TSS visa holder at a lower level…
TSMIT’s protective ability is only as strong as the level at which it is set. In its original iteration back in 2009, it was set at A$45 220. This level was determined by reference to average weekly earnings for Australians, with the intention that TSMIT would be pegged to this because the Australian government considered it ‘important that TSMIT keep pace with wage growth across the Australian labour market’. This indexation occurred like clockwork for five years. But since 1 July 2013, TSMIT has been frozen at a level of A$53 900. ..
There is now a gap of more than A$26 000 between the salary floor for temporary skilled migrant workers and annual average salaries for Australian workers. This means that the TSS visa can increasingly be used to employ temporary migrant workers in occupations that attract a far lower salary than that earned by the average Australian worker. This begs the question — is the erosion of TSMIT allowing the TSS visa to morph into a general labour supply visa rather than a visa restricted to filling labour market gaps in skilled, high-wage occupations?..
But why would employers go to all the effort of hiring a temporary migrant worker on a TSS visa over an Australian worker?
Renowned Australian demographer Graeme Hugo observed that employers ‘will always have a “demand” for foreign workers if it results in a lowering of their costs’. The simplistic notion that employers will only go to the trouble and expense of making a TSS visa application when they want to meet a skill shortage skims over a range of motives an employer may have for using the TSS visa. These could be a reluctance to invest in training for existing or prospective staff, or a desire to move towards a deunionised workforce. Additionally, for some employers, there could be a belief that, despite the requirement that TSS visa workers be employed on equivalent terms to locals, it is easier to avoid paying market salary rates and conditions for temporary migrant workers who have been recognised as being in a vulnerable labour market position. A recent example of this is the massive underpayments of chefs and cooks employed by Australia’s largest high-end restaurant business, Rockpool Dining Group, which found that visa holders were being paid at levels just above TSMIT but well below the award when taking into account the amount of overtime being done…
Put simply, temporary demand for migrant workers often creates a permanent need for them in the labour market. Research shows that in industries where employers have turned to temporary migrants en masse, it erodes wages and conditions in these industries over time, making them less attractive to locals…
A national survey of temporary migrant workers found that 24% of 457 visa holders who responded to the survey were paid less than A$18 an hour. Not only are these workers not being paid in according with TSMIT, but they are also receiving less than the minimum wage. A number of cases also expose creative attempts by employers to subvert TSMIT. Given the challenges many temporary migrants face in accessing legal remedies, these cases are likely only scratching the surface in terms of employer non-compliance with TSMIT…
Combined, then, with the problems with enforcement and compliance, it is not hard to conclude that the failure to index TSMIT is contributing to a wages crisis for skilled temporary migrant workers… So the failure to index the salary floor for skilled migrant workers is likely to affect wages growth for these workers, as well as to have broader implications for all workers in the Australian labour market.
The micro-economic evidence has been overwhelming for years:
- For years we have seen Dominos, Caltex, 7-Eleven, Woolworths and many other fast food franchises busted for rorting migrant labour.
- The issue culminated in 2016 when the Senate Education and Employment References Committee released a scathing report entitled A National Disgrace: The Exploitation of Temporary Work Visa Holders, which documented systemic abuses of Australia’s temporary visa system for foreign workers.
- Mid last year, ABC’s 7.30 Report ran a disturbing expose on the modern day slavery occurring across Australia.
- Meanwhile, Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO), Natalie James, told Fairfax in August last year that people on visas continue to be exploited at an alarming rate, particularly those with limited English-language skills. It was also revealed that foreign workers are involved in more than three-quarters of legal cases initiated by the FWO against unscrupulous employers.
- Then The ABC reported that Australia’s horticulture industry is at the centre of yet another migrant slave scandal, according to an Australian Parliamentary Inquiry into the issue.
- The same Parliamentary Inquiry was told by an undercover Malaysian journalist that foreign workers in Victoria were “brainwashed” and trapped in debt to keep them on farms.
- A recent UNSW Sydney and UTS survey painted the most damning picture of all, reporting that wages theft is endemic among international students, backpackers and other temporary migrants.
- A few months ago, Fair Work warned that most of Western Sydney had become a virtual special economic zone in which two-thirds of businesses were underpaying workers, with the worst offenders being high-migrant areas.
- Dr Bob Birrell from the Australian Population Research Institute latest report, based on 2016 Census data, revealed that most recently arrived skilled migrants (i.e. arrived between 2011 and 2016) cannot find professional jobs, with only 24% of skilled migrants from Non-English-Speaking-Countries (who comprise 84% of the total skilled migrant intake) employed as professionals as of 2016, compared with 50% of skilled migrants from Main English-Speaking-Countries and 58% of the same aged Australian-born graduates. These results accord with a recent survey from the Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre, which found that 53% of skilled migrants in Western Australia said they are working in lower skilled jobs than before they arrived, with underemployment also rife.
- The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) latest Characteristics of Recent Migrants report, revealed that migrants have generally worse labour market outcomes than the Australian born population, with recent migrants and temporary residents having an unemployment rate of 7.4% versus 5.4% for the Australian born population, and lower labour force participation (69.8%) than the Australian born population (70.2%).
- ABC Radio recently highlighted the absurdity of Australia’s ‘skilled’ migration program in which skilled migrants have grown increasingly frustrated at not being able to gain work in Australia despite leaving their homelands to fill so-called ‘skills shortages’. As a result, they are now demanding that taxpayers provide government-sponsored internships to help skilled migrants gain local experience, and a chance to work in their chosen field.
- In early 2018 the senate launched the”The operation and effectiveness of the Franchising Code of Conduct” owing in part to systematic abuse of migrant labour.
- Then there is new research from the University of Sydney documenting the complete corruption of the temporary visas system, and arguing that Australia running a “de-facto low-skilled immigration policy” (also discussed here at the ABC).
- In late June the government released new laws to combat modern slavery which, bizarrely, imposed zero punishment for enslaving coolies.
- Over the past few months we’ve witnessed widespread visa rorting across cafes and restaurants, including among high end establishments like the Rockpool Group.
- Alan Fels, head of the Migrant Workers Taskforce, revealed that international students are systematically exploited particularly by bosses of the same ethnicity.
The ACTU has now stated this outright as well:
Wright and Constantin (2015) surveyed employers using the 457 visa scheme and found that 86% state that they have experienced challenges recruiting workers locally. Despite identified recruiting difficulties, the survey found that fewer than 1 in one hundred employers surveyed had addressed ‘skill shortages’ by raising the salary being offered. Labour ‘shortages’ should first be addressed through a readjustment in the price of labour – increased wages. An inability to find local workers to work at a specified wage rate, coupled with an unwillingness to offer higher wages, does not necessarily imply a skill shortage – particularly where local workers would be willing and able to work if the wage rate was lifted. This differs from a skill shortage in which there are simply not enough people with a particular skill to meet demand.
The relatively recent availability of a large and vulnerable pool of temporary migrant workers has undoubtedly contributed to current record low levels of wages growth and a growing reluctance by employers to train local workers…
While there are approximately 1.5 million temporary entrants with work rights, the overseas worker team at the Fair Work Ombudsman consists of only 17 full time inspectors to investigate cases of exploitation – over 80,000 visa workers per inspector. Inadequate enforcement and penalties act as an incentive for employers to exploit temporary workers when the benefit from doing so outweighs the cost of the penalty. or where the probability of being caught is sufficiently low….
There have been a range of abuses uncovered which have clearly shown that the entire system is broken. From 7-11 and Domino’s to agriculture, construction, food processing to Coles, Dominos and Caltex, it is clear that the abuses occur in a number of visa classes whether they be students, working holiday makers or visa workers in skilled occupations.
These abuses include: a) Underpayment of wages and superannuation, including being forced to pay back wages b) Abuse ranging from psychological to physical c) Threats of deportation if complaints are made or workers join unions d) Being forced to live in sub-standard conditions
A system predicated overwhelmingly on temporary work cannot create the benefits that migration has been praised for…
Migration intermediaries have a vested interest in inflating demand. Australia has created a massive industry with many migration agents outside of our jurisdiction who cannot be prosecuted for breaches. This mushrooming “migration industry”- a complex and transnational web of agents, lawyers, labour recruiters, accommodation brokers and loan sharks – is currently largely unregulated.
The growth of labour hire operators alongside the migration industry has led to companies seeking to sell temporary migrant workers to employers, creating a fake “Job Network” which preferences temporary workers over Australians.
Labor must comprehensively reform the visa system and cut temporary as well as permanent migration numbers or it will never lift wages.
We reckon the easiest way to end the rorts is simply raise the minimum salary for skilled visas to $100k.
In this article, Kelvin Thomson lists six things wrong with the China Free Trade agreement: Sumarised, these are: We don't need it. It weakens rules about employment of Chinese nationals in Australia. It fails to create a level playing field for Australian industry. It helps Chinese companies to import Chinese labour to Australian jobs. It does away with mandatory skills testing for imported Chinese labour. It provides for overseas companies to sue Australian governments for actions that disadvantage them.
1. We don't need it. China is already our largest trading partner. We didn't need a deal to do business up until now, and we won't need one in future. Australian agriculture exports to China have trebled in the past six years, from $3 billion in 2007/8 to $9 billion in 2013/14. They will continue to grow in future, deal or no deal.
China had $22.7 billion - $12 billion of it in Australian real estate - in investment proposals approved by the Foreign Investment Review Board in the 2014 financial year, more than from any other country. Chinese investors bought more real estate in Sydney and Melbourne combined – almost $3.5 U.S. billion) than in each of London, Paris, or New York.
Any China market access advantage for Australian exports will only be temporary. Nothing in the deal prevents China from giving the same access to other countries. But all Australian concessions will be permanent.
2. The deal weakens the rules about employing migrant workers from China. At present employers have to test the labour market – that is to say, advertise positions or vacancies in Australia and show no qualified locals are available - before they can bring in Chinese temporary migrant workers, or employ those already here.
But the China FTA puts an end permanently to labour market testing in the 457 visa program for all Chinese nationals in all skilled occupations. This includes engineers, nurses, electricians, motor mechanics and another 200 trades and occupations where testing currently applies, plus the 400 or so other mainly graduate-level occupations where there is no testing now simply by government policy. Employers will use this loophole to substitute easily exploited overseas labour for Australian workers and graduates.
3. It utterly fails to create a level playing field for Australian domestic industry facing competition from Chinese imports. There is no chapter on labour standards. There is no chapter on environment standards. There is no mechanism to ensure that imported products are of an appropriate standard. Alucoil Australia advises that the much publicised Docklands Fire in Melbourne was in a high rise apartment building cladded with non-compliant panels imported from China.
4. A Memorandum of Understanding establishes Investment Facilitation Arrangements. These will allow Chinese-owned companies registered in Australia undertaking infrastructure development projects of more than $150 million in specified sectors (a very low threshold these days, which would cover most projects a Chinese-owned company would bother with) to negotiate bringing in semi-skilled temporary workers on 457 visas plus ‘concessional’ skilled workers. The Liberal Government says it will be the same as the Enterprise Migration Agreements proposed by Labor at the time of the Roy Hill Mining proposal. But trade unions objected vehemently to Enterprise Migration Agreements for good reason and none of them ever happened – not at Roy Hill and not anywhere else.
The Liberal Government says direct employers on these infrastructure projects must test the local labour market first. But the government’s labour market testing requirement allows employers to stop advertising jobs locally up to a year and a half before employing Chinese semi-skilled workers!
5. A side letter does away with mandatory skills testing by the Australian Government in a range of trades before Chinese-trained workers come to Australia. These include high risk trades like electrical work, which is inherently dangerous. We have stringent electrical training and safety standards in Australia, and eroding these standards could lead to accidents, injuries and deaths.
The Liberal Government says we shouldn't worry because the Immigration Department can still order a skills test ‘if needed’, and the States will step in and do assessments for licensed trades. Really? And if they don't? I guess we can always have a Royal Commission.
Mandatory skills assessment for 457 visa applicants from high-risk countries including China was introduced in 2009 by the former Labor Government to help restore some integrity to the 457 program. Before that it was commonplace for employers to nominate Chinese and other workers for skilled 457 visas in trade occupations but work them as semi-skilled or unskilled workers. For example some Chinese workers granted 457 visas as professional engineers were found to be working as labourers on Australian construction sites! There was also concern about trade training standards and qualifications and document fraud in some countries. Authorities like the World Bank say those concerns are still valid.
6. The deal contains an Investor-State Dispute Settlement provision. The details of the provision haven't yet been finalised. In all seriousness, the details haven't been finalised, but the Liberal Government is demanding that Labor agrees to the deal. But Investor-State Dispute provisions allow overseas companies to sue the Australian Government for actions that disadvantage them. Phillip Morris is suing the Australian Government right now, using one of these clauses in a Hong Kong investment agreement, over the introduction of plain paper packaging for tobacco products. ISDS has mutated into a privatised system of 'justice', whereby three arbitrators are allowed to override national legislation and the judgments of the highest courts in the land, in secret and with no right of appeal. No governments should enter into treaties which could stop them carrying out their proper role of protecting public health, the environment, and basic human rights.
There’s a lot wrong with the China Australia Free Trade Agreement.
Bandicoot writes in Our rights to jobs negotiated awayabout how Australian government has signed away the rights of Australians to self-govern on the question of mass immigration, a problem now affecting our employment opportunities and conditions. Indeed, many problems affecting Australians arise from a trend of the late 20th century to conflate trade in goods across borders and trade in people across borders. Goods-imports depress our prices and people-imports depress our wages and conditions, but, even more importantly, they depress our democracy. In the end neither producers nor workers win, unless they are multinational corporates.
Bad economic farming
The seeds of the predicament that Bandicoot so ably documents in "Our right to jobs negotiated away" were contained in the multilateral trade agreements that people protested in 1994 when a trendy-sounding Mr Keating signed us up for them. Arguably the Greens and the so called socialists of the Socialist Alliance that field a lot of potential youthful energy for protest, could have led Australians against this had they educated their followers. It seemed then, and seems now, however that the Greens and the Socialist Alliance failed to defend Australians rights on this matter because they have a core that defends immigration against any criticism, for reasons best known to their leaders.
The problems we are now deeply affected by arise from a trend of the late 20th century to conflate trade in goods across borders and trade in people across borders. Goods imports depress our prices and people imports depress our wages and conditions. In the end neither producers nor workers win, unless they are multinational corporates. This is because of an ideology that pretends that all our interests are promoted by economic liberalisation. It is obvious, however, that economic liberalisation (the ability to go to any bank in the world looking for the best rates, the ability to buy any commodity or product from anywhere) does not apply generally to most people. For instance, ordinary Australians cannot go to the Bank of Paris and access better terms for chequebooks and housing loans. Similarly, authors cannot publish with amazon.com and expect their earnings to be paid electronically into their accounts unless they are located in a certain few countries and you cannot usually freely download electronic books and dvds from French Amazon.com because the rights are restricted to certain countries. And you cannot off-shore your personal accounts to tax havens if you are a PAYE employee.
The philosophy of free trade, such as it is, is that ordinary people benefit from the transfer of wealth to international business entities because it may trickle down in the form of employment via these entities or in the form of the very cheap goods that flood our countries to the detriment of local small to medium business. Australia has also almost abolished the notion of property rights for ordinary people; Free trade in property acquisition means that land-prices have become inflated - affecting housing, farming and business rents so that Australians must compete with corporates and wealthy international investors and landlords to buy property where they only competed with each other previously. The same inflationary pressure on land is now acting on water and power because of the ideology of privatisation which is also associated with free marketeering.
History of cheap worker flood
The absolute flood of immigrants now taking Australian jobs was not possible until Mr Howard's WorkChoices. Before WorkChoices, it was not generally profitable to import immigrant workers in Australia because our conciliation and arbitration system required any worker in an industry with an award to have the same wages and conditions as his/her fellows. This also applied to foreign workers. So you could not, until very recently, import a worker from overseas and pay them less than Australians and treat them worse.
However our capacity to bargain industrially has been pulled apart in a series of successive damaging attacks on our Conciliation and Arbitration system that was the hallmark of the Australian Federation democratic agreement.
Primeminister Malcolm Fraser
Primeminister Malcolm Fraser set the rot in motion with his laws against Secondary Boycotts which meant that workers could not withhold their labour from industries that behaved badly towards them. This fundamentally altered the human rights of Australian workers in a process that set in motion their degradation.
Premier Jeff Kennett
Industrial Awards were a very strong defense against a flood of cheap labour, especially State Industrial Awards.
These were first dismantled at State level, beginning with the Kennett Government in Victoria. Gradually industries were thrown into the disorganised mess of individual workplace agreements, stored in the tangled morass of the federal system. Unions lost rights to represent us at the same time as the laws they used to back us up on were watered down into uselessness.
It was obvious the whole time, to anyone who knew about the trade agreements that outlawed national differences in worker protection among signatories, that this situation would open up the sluice gates on cheap worker immigration in Australia. It was therefore obvious to the people responsible for signing us up with the WTO agreements and for dismanteling our industrial system.
Keating set the scene for the undermining of citizens rights to determine our industrial laws and conditions as well as our rights to set limits on imports and foreign workers at the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization 1 in 1994.
In Under "PART III,SPECIFIC COMMITMENTS, Article XVI, Market access:
1. With respect to market access through the modes of supply identified in Article I, each Member shall accord services and service suppliers of any other Member treatment no less favourable than that provided for under the terms, limitations and conditions agreed and specified in its Schedule.
2. In sectors where market-access commitments are undertaken, the measures which a Member shall not maintain or adopt either on the basis of a regional subdivision or on the basis of its entire territory, unless otherwise specified in its Schedule, are defined as:
(d) limitations on the total number of natural persons that may be employed in a particular service sector or that a service supplier may employ and who are necessary for, and directly related to, the supply of a specific service in the form of numerical quotas or the requirement of an economic needs test;
PART IV, PROGRESSIVE LIBERALIZATION, Article XIX, Negotiation of specific commitments, commits the signatories to continuous relaxing of trade barriers and, presumably, movement of people across national borders and the granting of work permits. Obviously this agreement abrogates the rights of citizens to determine wages and employment conditions which are an intrinsic part of self-government in a democracy and were a notable feature of Australia until this agreement to free trade.
Hawke was responsible for instituting an ideology of multculturalism which was subsequently used to intimidate Australians from criticising mass immigration. A document of his involvement in setting up the Multicultural Foundation of Australia is available here. Whilst the Multicultural Foundation of Australia might seem a quite innocuously unimportant organisation, the fact that its small list of members contains the then Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Australia and every Australian primeminister and most opposition leaders since Hawke leads one to question this first impression. For more see Background on the Australian Multicultural Foundation
Hawke was also responsible for negotiating - in the Accord, against the background of the post 1970s oil shock, a centralisation of industrial unions that entailed the breaking up of diverse local and state power bases. These changes were probably necessary to weaken the union movement so that there would be no chance of Australians finding purchase to stand and fight against the slippery slide into third world conditions. The corporate model of huge unions had an inbuilt tendency to make unions allies of banks and the wealthy with professionalisation of traditionally voluntary offices, becoming stepping stones for parliamentary opportunists.
Corrupted Socialist movement helped destroy union solidarity and sense
Geoffrey Taylor (who writes for candobetter.net) would argue that a corrupted socialist movement in Australia kept up significant unwarranted agitation and confusion within unions so that workers and employers were unnecessarily alienated from their own interests. That is, he would argue that the socialist movement led poorly founded strikes and protests but that it also undermined well-founded protests and strikes - and does to this day. The underlying theory here is that the corrupted socialist movement was actually working for the government and the power elites of the day, and against the very principles that caused so many to pay their dues to it and follow its orders.
Did Fraser, Hawke, Keating, Howard et al all realise the harm their policies would do Australians or were they just caught up in a tsunami of Chicago School economics (called 'shock doctrine' by Naomi Klein) that seemed clever at the time? If there had been no oil shock in the 1970s, I do not think that their ideas would have gained purchase, but that series of shocks and countershocks helped to divide the 'developed world' into two different economic policy schools. Amongst the anglophones, the Thatcher-Reagan view of the world evolved to chisel away at citizenship and democracy in favour of a contractual society where we were all just economic units, in contrast to Western Europe, where a more citizen-focused solidarity created a bulwark for democracy, with smaller economic differences between citizens and a humanist view of one's fellows.
Oil and trade wars
Oil scarcity still looms however and Anglophone elite dominance of world political economy is now magnifying the division between the oil producing economies in the Middle East, Africa, South America and Russia and the massive consumer economies in the West. International banking deregulation has broken down Western Europe's solidarity with its citizens by investing government and personal funds in the USA stock, housing and futures markets, which are totally overcapitalised. These banking and investment institutions that have invested in the United States have created of the United States a monster debt that must be fed to keep its investors alive. To feed that monster, 'austerity measures' now erode the solidarity of citizens and government in Western Europe. In a related pact, The USA, England, Saudi Arabia, France, Germany and others are now aligned temporarily in illegal wars for trade where they are historically competitors.
I know only some parts of the history of Australia's loss of citizens' rights and welcome contributions and criticisms from others.